Women’s Squash Finishes Team Competition Ranked No. 16 Nationally
Issue   |   Tue, 02/20/2018 - 19:52
Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios
Kim Krayacich ’18 lost a tightly contested match against Middlebury 6-11, 10-12, 9-11.

This past weekend, the Amherst women’s squash team returned to the courts for the final few matches of team play at the CSA Team Championships, hosted by Harvard. The defending Walker Cup champions, the Mammoths had held a vicelike grip on the trophy recently, winning the crown in three of the last four years. However, thanks to their recent dominance and a strong regular season, Amherst moved up a division, competing this year for the Kurtz Cup in the Division II tournament.

The Mammoths’ began tournament play against a formidable opponent, top-seeded Drexel University, on Friday evening. The Dragons hit the ground running, quickly proving that their high seeding was no joke. At the top of the ladder, Kim Krayacich ’18 fell in straight games to Drexel’s Anna Hughes (4-11, 4-11, 7-11). Next, at the number two position, Haley McAtee ’18 also suffered a harsh straight-game defeat against Hayley Hughes, falling 6-11, 5-11, 0-11. This contest included one of two games in which a Drexel competitor shut out her Mammoth foe. The other came in first-year Riddhi Sampat’s match​ at the number four position, where the underdog fell 1-11, 2-11, 0-11. In all, the Dragons didn’t yield a single match to the Mammoths, sweeping them 9-0 to advance to the semifinals.

The next day, Amherst moved on to the consolation bracket against George Washington University. Although a closer competition, the Colonials ultimately dealt the Mammoths a tough loss. At the top, Krayacich and McAtee again suffered straight-game losses at the first and second positions, respectively. The closest match of the day though came on the third court where Rachel Ang ’19 forced a deciding fifth game, before ultimately losing. Madison Chen ’21, Margaret Werner ’21 and Pierson Klein ’20​ also provided stiff competition, pushing their respective opponents to four games, but ultimately coming out on the losing side. In the end, George Washington trounced the Mammoths to claim the 9-0 win.

The next day, in a match to determine 15th place, Amherst faced off against NESCAC rival Middlebury. The Panthers ultimately posted a 6-3 victory over the Mammoths, but the match was not without its highlights for losing side. Ang battled in another five-game contest at the third position, but this time, the back and forth ended in her favor as she left the court with a hard-fought win (9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8). Meanwhile, Caroline Conway ’20 dealt a swift three-game defeat to her opponent at the fourth position (11-5, 11-6, 11-8). Katy Correia ’20​ posted Amherst’s last win of the day on the sixth court, notching a four-game victory (6-11, 11-3, 11-8, 13-11).

With the three losses, the Mammoths concluded their season ranked No. 16 in the nation. Although the team-based portion of the schedule is now over, several Mammoths will go on to compete for individual accolades at the CSA Individual Championships that take place next weekend.